AMD, ARM, Nvidia Join Alliance For Open Media

The Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) announced that it gain three major new members in ARM, AMD and Nvidia. The group was formed last year by Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix to create the next-generation open source video codec.

"The open source availability of our AOMedia Video project with active contributions from industry leaders marks the beginning of a new era of openness and interoperability for Internet video," said Gabe Frost, Executive Director, the Alliance for Open Media."We’re delighted to welcome AMD, ARM and NVIDIA to the Alliance for Open Media, reflecting the importance of hardware support to achieve broad industry adoption,” he added.

The new codec is supposed to replace the current generation codecs such as VP9 and HEVC. Mozilla (Daala), Google (VP10), and Cisco (Thor) were already working on their own next-generation codecs before they decided to share their resources and knowledge to create one “best codec” that would be royalty-free and standardized for the Web by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Although the VP8 codec was already standardized for the WebRTC protocol by the IETF, it hasn’t gained that much adoption from chip makers and other major platform stakeholders. Even Mozilla stuck to using an open source implementation of the h.264 codec made by Cisco. Google’s VP9 codec hasn’t gotten much more adoption than VP8, either, even though Google uses it to encode all of its YouTube videos now.

The HEVC, created by the same organization that made the h.264 codec, has its own problems, mostly related to expensive royalties and patent challenges from other groups.

The new codec from AOMedia is meant to solve all of the existing issues by being:

Interoperable and open;Optimized for Internet delivery;Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; andFlexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.

The fact that now all the major chip vendors, including ARM, AMD, Intel and NVidia, have embraced it ahead of its release means that all the new chips will support it from day one. With IETF standardizing it as a Web protocol, it should be embraced by all the browser vendors, as well.

Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. You can follow him at @lucian_armasu. 

Follow us on FacebookGoogle+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • chicofehr
    Why is there no major video editing software makers like Adobe on there? Software for this future codec is very important too.
  • turkey3_scratch
    This is fantastic, we need to keep moving toward these universal APIs. One of the reasons I don't like Nvidia Gameworks, as it only benefits them. But anything that consistently is designed as a collaborative group to work across various hardwares, and be standardized is good by my own standards.
  • AS118
    Good news. Sure beats having fragmentation that's going on right now. VP9 on one side (mostly Google only), H.265 with royalty and patent issues on another, others using various forms of H.264... open standards that everyone uses together solves a lot of problems.
  • virtualban
    G-sync, CUDA, Hypocrysitium, ...
  • Sublime1027
    Great news. Unfortunately DX12 is Windows 10 only so I really hope Vulkan (with its cross platform support) comes out on top as the next big graphics API. Gaming on Linux could actually be just as good or better than Windows. Although we would need AMD and Nvidia to really make their Linux drivers good enough (I'm especially looking at you AMD).